“The Price of Peanut Butter” and other works in response to the last Wednesday Writing Prompt

“You have been told that, even like a chain, you are as weak as your weakest link.
This is but half the truth.
You are also as strong as your strongest link.
To measure you by your smallest deed is to reckon the power of the ocean
by the frailty of its foam.
To judge you by your failures is to cast blame upon the seasons for their inconstancy.”
Kahlil Gibran, The Prophet



Rich, Me, Dan

Thank you to all who sent messages and notes wishing us a happy family reunion. It was wonderful. We chatted and laughed as though we’d only seen one another yesterday, as though forty years hadn’t passed.  Thanks also to those who knew I went into the hospital right after our reunion and who wished me well and kept me in your prayers. I admit to slowing down, but I’m still here kicking thanks to loving family and friends, good doctors, and the grace of God.



I know it’s already Wednesday where some of you live, but it’s still Tuesday here in Northern California. My apologies though for the lateness of the post. So much catching up – good catching up – to do after the activities of the past few weeks.

It certainly looks like we hit a responsive nerve with the last Wednesday Writing Prompt, It’s Not the ’60s Anymore, asking for work that gives us a strong sense of time and place and how the writer and/or the times have changed. This collection is delightful featuring such a diversity of time, place, and ages and marked by depth, caring, and consciousness. I’m proud to be able to present this collection to you here today.

Thanks to our newcomer mm brazfield for her participation and a warm welcome.  Thanks to all for coming out to play: Gary W. Bowers, Paul Brooks, Irma Do, Deb y Felio (Debbie Felio), Sonia Benskin Mesher, Taman Tracy Moncur, Bozhidar Pangelove (Bogpan), Marta Pombo Sallés, Julie Standig, and Anjum Wasim Dar.

Links are connected to poet/writer websites where available – NOT to specific poems – to encourage readers to visit them and get to know their work.  If no website is available, it’s likely you can find the poet/writer on Facebook, where some folks also publish their work.

Read! Enjoy! And join us tomorrow for the next Wednesday Writing Prompt.  All are encourage to share their work on theme, beginning, emerging or pro.


The Price of Peanut Butter

of course i remember the old Safeway, Hank. in closing my eyes i can see the Mahatma Rice Genie on the little rice bags and Jiffy cost less than a dollar. i was not taller than a yard stick, yet i knew my lime green pastel knit dresses were an infamy. Hank, i recall the prime parties on Berendo street, the last of the beehive hairdo elegant women in turquoise bell-bottoms, i a barefooted brat. and on alternate Saturdays the biker parties in the Silver Lake Hills. the Harleys looked like stallions. in the middle of the week, i can’t remember where i’d sleep, but AC/DC dueled with Tom Jones in my dreams. now, Hank, we have non-GMO juice stands and designer coffee drinks. i’m about a yard stick and a quarter tall now and i dress in black. i still enjoy Tom and Brian, but Nirvana and Cornell own my heart. i finally read the Torah too. but the fears, doubts, agonies and uncertainties are still within my universe. Safeway is now Vons. House of Pies is still there too, i feed on their Western Spaghetti. i’m going at it in a round-about way. Volkswagons’ and Mustangs aren’t what they used to be, but they’ve cut down on bad emissions. Hank, you wouldn’t believe, there’s almond, cashew, sunflower, pistachio and Brazil Nut butter. i don’t talk much, i type on the phone, even on dates, sitting right across the table from them all. i suppose i’ll never see a good bra burning anymore, i giggled at it as a child. but, they have apps for that now. i never really fit in any particular time in LA. from 8 tracks to Alexa and frozen peas to organic produce delivery. i don’t know, Hank. peanut butter today is quite expensive.

© 2019,  mm brazfield (Words Less Spoken)

mm brazfield

MM BRAZFIELD was born and raised in urban Los Angeles and is a Gen X’er who chronicles and scrawls about the art form of living in the Angelino metropolitan environment. These offerings were inspired by the mental health crisis in the city. mb personally battles depression and anxiety, but utilizes writing and art to self-regulate. mb works in social services in the hopes of supporting others who endure the same.


fashion show 69

california: kitchen. future
Uncle Sonny (né Enoch) grins
in fire-engine red turtleneck
and atop it & his chest
a medallion like a
half-scale hubcap
dreaming of being
a mandala. the legs
of his hiphugging bellbottoms
looked like bras for metal detectors.

my aunt Diane
surfer girl of tawny hip
had painted-on capris
of brushed denim
and a variant of a peasant blouse
in loose chiffon
and midriff exposure.

i at 14
still in noisy corduroy
longed for a Nehru jacket
but revealed in my Mr. Muscle
Form-Fitting
T-shirt
in a burgundy
that lasted about
five washings
and imparted a blush tint
to my once-dazzling undies.

on the tv a girl sang,
“You’re my kind of guy,
I love you so,
Baby, everything about you
Is go, go, go!
And with Aqua Velva Lotion
Our romance began,
Because there’s Something About
An Aqua Velva Man!
Ah, ah, ah, ah…
Aha AAH, ah,ah,ah,ah…”

do you think
i would be gullible enough
to then desire to be
An Aqua Velva Man?

you bet i was.
so I weep,
do not answer,
for those pathetic nowadays boys
who think there is such a thing
as “the Axe effect.”

and i long
for fifty years ago.

© 2019, Gary W. Bowers (One With Clay, Image and Text)

As some of you know, Gary is multi-talented, combing visual art with poetry or prose narrative.  He is also a potter. A sample of his work is pictured below. Gary’s pottery is available for purchase.  Further details HERE. Note the business care. We appreciate Gary’s wry humor.ter. A sample of his work is pictured below. Gary’s pottery is available for purchase.  Further details HERE. Note the business card. We appreciate Gary’s wry humor.


A Full Moon Christmas Day,1977

I, ignorant, molly coddled,
aged fourteen , outsider to pierced,
bright red mohicanned,
black bin bag dressed peers
on the bus, Christmas Eve.

Sexy ultraviolet lasses
in black tights and dockers,
kohl eyed intelligence
scares my Burton’s suit.

Fascinated by safety pinned
noses, brazen forward face
of defiance, I wince
into a corner, my mam’s

“Acceptable behaviour”,
“When you have your own
house you can dress how you like.”
And my step dad’s knuckle
marks pulse on my jaw.

Hard to rebel when cossetted,
pot pourried, warm duveted,
hugged and soggily kissed
by grandparents, all Sunday Bested
under this long cold full mooned
Christmas Day.

© 2019, Paul Brookes (The Wombwell Rainbow)

Candlelit Seventies Without

a thought switch flicked,
and if glass globe works light
and I recall candlelit Seventies
evening in Winter’s discontent.

How important during that Winter
electric light, few hours TV,
the extra jumpers and ignorant
thrill of days extraordinary nights.

Those nights I recalled stood
underground in Eighties, caplight off
a darkness lively with ghosts
as imagination lit by stories.

© 2019, Paul Brookes (The Wombwell Rainbow)

On Trend

In Bus Station, now renamed, Transport Interchange
crazies herd, or stud on Friday night,

past disguised as fresh and new.
Filly’s Seventies platform throwback

high heels whipcrack and totter
past and shoutback,

“Can’t get enough!”, to the stallions.
Hormones on an after school

high josh one another into minor
crimes their pot bellies

will chuckle at when they’re pastured.
Big yellow hi viz “club bouncer”

jackets tap their ear phones
and watch the younger

good spirits rise, ready to corral a stampede.
A thin bright yellow hi viz jacket

pushes a blue plastic hygiene cart
whose white wheels clop on tiles

recall wooden clogs on sodden cobbles.
A crazy talks to himself

as he trots by, his eyes elsewhere
and then I see the leads

from the buds in his ears.
Young stud tucks his blue boxers

into his jeans waist below
his haunches, a US prison trend,

and old fashion now.
Yoga panted fillies giggle

at his shorts, as they, too
will blush at fashions sworn by

in their galloped youth.
And older some afford pasture,

others to the knacker’s yard,
and clothes no longer second hand,

or charity but sold as “vintage”.

© 2019, Paul Brookes (The Wombwell Rainbow)

Kept Himself

to himself. Quiet man always in sharp
waistcoat and tie.

Shoes keen like mirrors.
Afraid he will be found out.

His daughter and her family
forever tainted by his past,

his feeble mindedness, his shame.

His urgent nine year old grandson
full of The Great Escape, Where Eagles Dare

Asks “What did you do in the war, Grandad?
Did you fight the Nazzies?”

He does not want disappointment
on this young face so invents:

“A German Tiger was coming towards me.
So I digs a hole so it goes over the top.”

“And what happened next, Grandad?
“Ask your Nanna. I need to do the Pools.”

*******

Nanna says he came to see her
when she worked in the Birmingham factories.

In midst of air raids, falling houses and fire.
“Your Grandad worked on the railways.”

So his grandson works it out.
Grandad never fought abroad.

“You know don’t you?” says his enfeebled Nanna
to her grandson, “Grandad’s dad?”

“One of his widowed mother’s lodgers?”
“Yes,” she says “Grandad was born out of wedlock.”

© 2019, Paul Brookes (The Wombwell Rainbow)

Prolific Yorkshire Poet, Paul Brookes

FYI: Paul Brookes, a stalwart participant in The Poet by Day Wednesday Writing Prompt, is running an ongoing series on poets, Wombwell Rainbow Interviews. Connect with Paul if you’d like to be considered for an interview. Visit him, enjoy the interviews, get introduced to some poets who may be new to you, and learn a few things.

The Wombwell Rainbow Interviews: Jamie Dedes

  • Paul’s Amazon Page U.S. HERE
  • Paul’s Amazon Page U.K. HERE

More poems by Paul at Michael Dickel’s Meta/ Phore(e) /Play

In the market, I’m

Hearing songs sublime

First dance

Takes me back in time

First date jitters – mine

No chance

First kiss fail – not prime

Now improved with time

Perchance

The Lai is a poetry form introduced by Grace for d’Verse’s Poetry Form Challenge. The brevity and constraints of this form makes it quite challenging however, I am enamored by it’s ability to capture so much in so few syllables. This is my first attempt to any feedback is welcome!

The topic of this Lai comes courtesy of Jamie Dedes’ Wednesday Writing Prompt to write a poem with a strong sense of time and place and how you and/or the times have changed. I wasn’t sure what to write for this prompt until I went grocery shopping this weekend. The song “Always” by Atlantic Starr started to play and I was instantly taken back to my first date with Elvio who took me to first dance and gave me my first kiss. I truly believed we would end up like that song until he told me that he was going to take Sally to the next dance because she was a better kisser. (Sigh.)

Have things improved dating wise for me? Well, yes!! Considering I don’t have to date anymore – saved from those trials and tribulations by my Honey. But the hope and innocence I felt in the 1980’s is also gone…(sigh)….

©️2019, words and illustration, Irma Do (I Do Run, And I do a few other things too . . . )


New and Not So Improved

Now listen people
wherever you are
trav’lin’ in trucks and
SUV cars
Your footprint is huge
and so is your track
the fossils you’re burnin’
we’ll never get back
so ease off the pedal
and give us some slack
‘cause the earth it is a warmin’

All nature around us
calls out our name
Pollution abounds
and we are to blame
Ozone layers
welcome us in
what we’re leavin’ our children
is really a sin
so if you give a damn
then you better begin
‘cause the earth it is a warmin’

Big pharmaceuticals
expand the pollute
not just in the body
but waters to boot
what did you think
you flushed down the loo
those poisoning meds
along with your poo
so quit looking around
before the whole thing is moot
‘cause the earth it is a warmin’

Organic farms where good
used to grow
are being replaced
with big g-m-o
now salmonella and
e-co-li, too
wrapped in the plastic
then sold to you
don’t think you’re immune
your money’s for show
‘cause the earth it is a warmin’

Mother nature is having
her turn
Disasters are teaching
what we need to learn
drought and flooding
and fires set to burn
we waited too late
it’s all now in ruin
no longer we mask it
we’re in hell’s handbasket

‘cause the earth it is a warmin’

© 2019, Deb y Felio (The Journey Begins)


..28 every woman..

it is always there

in the bathroom,

ignored, as was the photo.

yesterday it came to light again,

every woman’s toilet,

book.

edited by mrs robert noble,

not dated, yet dated.

are artificial aids justifiable,

how to have a dimpled wrist

with excercise,

means, and massage,

a moderate diet essential.

we do not wish a muddy complexion?

no. nor to wear the years

away in sad ness and regret.

we just need an excellent lotion,

for tired eyes,

and carry on, rejoicing.

all that there is.

plus the photograph.

© 2019, Sonja Benskin Mesher

..188 jane austen again…

to live the life
of pomade and petticoats.

no ajustable waist.

one imagines there will
be no worry, yet the
adjectives will prove difficult
for me,renowned for
few words.

daily checking hips
in slanting mirrors,

reading of heaven over,
which is life on earth
randomly .

gods throwing dice,
rules changing constantly.

i find sadly,
i am not jane austen.

© 2019, Sonja Benskin Mesher

..straw hats & sunshades..

those of you that read austen,
and maybe little women,
know that on summer days,
with heat, the ladies
wear their straws, protecting
gentle necks and complexion.

sipping drinks . i think that sucking
may be frowned upon. therefore
it is not seemly to show
that drinking aid here.

© 2019, Sonja Benskin Mesher


Let Your Light Shine

Young love blossomed on the horizon immersed in “the days of wine and roses”. Afros and dashikis danced in the streets to jazz improvisations weaving in and out of the intricate beats of the drum declaring support in the fight for civil rights. The blues sang of heartache and tragedy while spirituals announced resilience of faith and survival in a changing world global in concern.

I remember the sixties well, coming of age in a nation where the stage was set with demonstrations, picket lines, marches against racism, prejudice, and hatred…empathy standing tall with dignity not afraid to die for belief in true democracy “one nation, under God, with liberty and justice for all” regardless of race, ethnic origin, religion, or sexual orientation,

Jim Crow was on the defensive murdering, lynching, bombing, burning…turning the south into fields of blood sprouting weeds of hostility and fear. Beautiful caring people united against the atrocities, linking arms, singing to the heavens “We Shall Overcome Someday” believing in their hearts that this was a new start in the United States of America.

Tragedy and triumph were marked by a cyclical progression over the next generations. War and peace remained combatants in the world arena…ideologies exploded into shards of hatred, greed, and lust killing innocence attempting to eradicate the concept of brotherly love while in the USA came the day a black president served for eight years. Sweet victory became a reality!

Then the divisiveness of hate, rooted in this country from its inception, once again sent it spiraling into the depths of degradation. The offspring of racism were unleashed when egomania moved into the oval office bringing his family with him..xenophobia, misogyny, Islamophobia, and bigotry all claiming to want to make America great again.

Yet once more this country standing on the shore of time shall rise as the people lift up their eyes peering into the sky knowing the Creator is near and that hope is beyond the horizon ready to take wing and fly throughout the land raining perseverance and strength on those who want to make a positive difference as their collective voices are heard on high in a symphony of unity.

© 2019, Taman Tracy Moncur (The Road of Impossibilities)

Diary of an Inner City Teacher is a probe into the reality of teaching in our inner city school systems as seen from the front line. Over two decades in the trenches, educator Tamam Tracy Moncur exposes through her personal journal the plights, the highlights, the sadness, and the joys she has experienced as a teacher. Come to understand why the United States Department of Education and the various state departments of education must realize the teaching of academics cannot be divorced from the social issues that confront the students. Let s be innovative together and design new millennium schools that address the educational needs of the inner city students before it s too late! Our children s very existence is at stake! Laugh, cry, and become informed as you embrace the accounts of an inner city teacher.


For us, the people who lived behind the Iron Curtain, the 60s, began after the fall of the Berlin Wall.

Protest (retrospective)
“Miss Corde was reading Plutarch by night the books then used to be taken seriously”
Zbigniew Herbert

(Adam Lux – Meditations)

Miss (or already, why not, Missis)
is reading.
So did she before getting married. The revolution of 1960s All is Love is over.
She used to sleep in tents. Why not?
The freedom has to be defended.
Drums, fires, the screams:
“Down with! Who doesn’t jump is.”
Rumble behind the walls. Marat is. Alive? Death? Used to live?
The time is traveling. The crown’s refined hat.
The hair short. With all the colors.
“In a dress like a blue rock.”
Obelisk? Yes! of passing from
necessity to
necessity (for survival).
Mrs. Corde, is reading. The Game of …
She’s dreaming. “All is love”.
The day is the most usual.

Charlotte?
She administrated justice.
The falling stars are glowing.

© 2019, Bozhidar Pangelove (Bogpan)

————————————

The Death of Marat by Jacques-Louis David (1793) / Public Domain photograph

“Jean-Paul Marat (French: [ʒɑ̃pɔl maʁa]; 24 May 1743 – 13 July 1793) was a French political theorist, physician, and scientist. He was a journalist and politician during the French Revolution.

He was a vigorous defender of the sans-culottes and seen as a radical voice. He published his views in pamphlets, placards and newspapers. His periodical L’Ami du peuple (Friend of the People) made him an unofficial link with the radical republican Jacobin group that came to power after June 1793.

Marat was assassinated by Charlotte Corday, a Girondin sympathizer, while taking a medicinal bath for his debilitating skin condition. Corday was executed four days later for his assassination, on 17 July 1793.” [Wikipedia]


Girl, my little pearl

Girl, my little pearl
you swirl in golden waters
when you wear the highest heels
when you show your slim body
when you put on that lovely dress
when you wear that perfect make-up
when you exhibit those expensive earrings
when your fingers and toe nails are so carefully painted
when you completely remove all your hairs
(except those on your head)
when your hair is dyed accordingly
(never forget to dye it when you grow older,
you should always look younger)

Girl, my little pearl
you still want to swirl in goldern waters
when you exhibit those piercings and tattoos
though they are not still enough,
so you will want to have some more, perhaps
some botox and breast size operations too.

And girl little pearl says:

I do not want to wear high heels,
they’ll ruin my feet and back forever.
I was not born with a slim body so
why should I want to have it?

I do not want to wear that lovely dress,
it’s terribly uncomfortable, unpractical,
has no pockets and it’s too cold now,
so why should I wear it?

I do not want that make-up made of chemicals affecting my health.

They always want to sell
and so they never tell.

The same with nail polish. I do not want it
unless I buy these things at the organic shop
just in case I changed my mind.
I do not have earholes for earrings.

Why does almost every girl have them
to mark their gender as soon as they’re born?

My mum has those earholes and wore once
some unexpensive pair of earrings, bad metal,
and ended up with red skin, red spots and allergy.

No, I do not want earholes to mark my gender differentiation.
I want to choose if I want them or not when I grow up.
As for my hair and its natural color,
I am perfectly satisfied, well, perhaps
some streaks to highlight a bit of color
together with shades of greys and whites.
I want to look my age, why younger?
I am getting older and have grey hairs.
So what? Will I be less of a woman
if I don’t dye my hair anymore?

I refuse irreversible things
like piercings and tattoos.
Some other women and men
may like them very much.
Perhaps they’ve been the luckiest ones
who had no health problems so far
after piercings and tattoos
marked their bodies
forever.

I do not want this on my body
I do not want to be obsessed by esthetics
I do not want to do something just because
it’s fashion, everyone does it.
I do not want to be who I am not
I want to be myself
I want to be appreciated for who I am.
And if somebody wants to love me
I’ll say, please, look first at my inside
and then you’ll be able to decide.

I am no girl, little pearl
to swirl in golden waters
I am simply who I want to be
now you just take me or leave.

© 2019, Marta Pombo Sallés (Moments)

When Tomorrow Comes

Optimists say we are not afraid
but I am.
And people usually say I am an optimist.
What’s wrong with me now?
Why do I feel so much
Fear, Sadness and Uncertainty?
Why can’t I get a sufficient dose of
Calmness, Serenity and Confidence?
Yet this fear of mine
does not keep me paralyzed
for I know we must move on.
This is a human rights issue,
a fight for social justice,
just one more in our world.
And while some say Dialogue, Dialogue
some others say what dialogue
if one of the parts always refuses it?
We need international mediation.
Urgently.
But that part does not want it.
So what is left to do
for the Spanish-Catalan eternal conflict?
Where’s the lesser evil
after the October First events?
What do you tell the 1066 injured people?
What do you tell the man who lost his eyesight
because of a rubber bullet from the police?
How do you comfort all those
who made the vote possible?
who made everything peacefully and democratically?
Tomorrow Catalonia’s president will most probably
declare independence from Spain.

It will be like you’re in a room
with some people trying to chase you,
loaded with guns.
But you’re peaceful
and do not have guns
and see an open window.
So you need to jump down
before they arrest you,
before they kill the rights
you’ve been long fighting for.
The lesser evil is throwing yourself
out of that window.
Is it a desperate suicide?
Or is there someone below
who will come to rescue,
who will get you in their arms
before you crash into the ground
when tomorrow comes?

© 2017, Marta Pombo Sallés (Moments)

Link to the blog with the poem and a BBC video showing the brutality of the Spanish police forces against the peaceful voters in Catalonia.


I never heard my grandfather’s voice

Nathan lost everything in the Great
Depression. Funny, they called it that.

Did they mean the economy or was it
their state of mind? Well, Nathan lost

it all: his wife left him. Took their two
daughters and went to wealthy parents

in California. I’m not sure Nat ever left
Brooklyn. Moved in with his brother,

kept a photo on his nightstand:
two young girls dressed in hand-

me-down plaids, four scraggly arms
surrounding a Sycamore tree. He missed

the bobby socked, saddle shoed feet
dangling off the fire escape, as they knit

scarves for soldiers. He even missed
their complaints about Gregg shorthand

and boorish boys that taunted them
at Tilden High. He missed taking them

for a Nedicks orange drink, or Shatzkin
knishes, Lundy’s for steamers and chowder.

Laughter in bumper cars, bellyaches from
too many hotdogs and fast rides

on the Wonderwheel. His girls were gone.
The tumor took his mind. The depression

devoured the rest. And then his wife
took the kids.

Cruelty lasts a lifetime. No one recovered.

© 2019, Julie Standig


Time – I Am No Exception

time

Under the roof of peace in quiet meditation
Time seemed still, time was pure
time for prayer and forgiveness
asking for salvation

say nothing to time ‘
it is something else, colors show change
brown to red, living to dead, all are in range’
no accusation

Time tells me many stories
born in war I hear more wars
bloodshed bloodshed bloodshed
out of sight and dim are the stars

By the blue green sea ,
curling in rolling in and rolling back

Like tiny serpents creeping up
with stings poised,making one

more story –

Pulled back to unseen depths
Golden myriads glistened

as in sunlight life lay
Bathing basking relaxing-

There is enough time !
Delicately exposed yearning for the tan

Tender petal like still,  unaware lying
Ready bait for the brutal mind

It is My Time !

And from the  shade , came not the coolness
But hot fire,blistering bodies in the sand

Not shielding from the sun- Life so stilled  as
Hot bullets rained, sprayed from the gun

Then, there was no time’
Then, there was no time’.

Time now is Time uncertain
energy decreased  vision weak,
rampant obreption, subreption
time is now endless deception

Do I have time? Do I have time?

I must do good, I am no exception
I must forgive I am no exception’
I must make peace I am no exception’
© 2019, illustration and poem in English and Urdu, Anjum Wasim Dar (Poetic Oceans)

امن کے ساے تلے

امن کے ساے تلے  کیا کویؑ  مقدس  مقام نہیں
خاموش عبادت میں
ٹھرے ھوےؑ وقت مہں

مغفرت کی طلب میں
نجات و بخشش کی دعاوؑں  میں
زمانے کی   بات نھیں 

یہ کچھ  اور  بات،ھے
رنگ بدلتی  دنیا میں ،سب زد میں
ھر زات اور ھے

 امن کے ساےؑ تلے اب کویؑ الزام نہیں

یہ میرا وقت ھے
وقت کی داستاں گویؑ
جنگ کی پیشیں گویؑ
خونریزی  کرے کوی
ستارے نظر آتے نہیں
کیا میرے پاس وقت  ھے ؟ 
کیا میرے پاس  وقت ھے؟
مجھے اچھے کام   کرنے چاھےؑ
میں  سب   سے علیحدہ  نہیں 
مجھے سب کو معاف کردینا چاھے
میں سب سے  علیحدہ  نہیں
مجھے  دنیا  میں امن  پھیلانا چاھےؑ
میں سب سے علیحدہ  نہیں
Find Anjum here:
https://anjumwasimdar.wordpress.com/    Unsaid Words of Untold Stories…Prose  writing
knitting projects/stories
https://helpingenglishteachinginpakistan.wordpress.com/  ELT   Work experience/educational service for the country

 

“POETRY PEACE and REFORM Go Together -Let Us All Strive for PEACE on EARTH for ALL -Let Us Make a Better World -WRITE To Make PEACE PREVAIL.” Anjum Wasim Dar


ABOUT

“Fog” , “This Poem Must Be Taken Literally” . . . and other responses to the last Wednesday Writing Prompt

“No man can reveal to you aught but that which already lies half asleep in the dawning of your knowledge.

“The teacher who walks in the shadow of the temple, among his followers, gives not of his wisdom but rather of his faith and his lovingness.

“If he is indeed wise he does not bid you enter the house of his wisdom, but rather leads you to the threshold of your own mind.” Kahlil Gibran, The Prophet



The theme for Wednesday Writing Prompt, awakening on our rockey rebel road, June 6, 2018, was to share with us the poet in non-ordinary reality, the doorways that lead from the physical to the spiritual. This was perhaps not the easiest of prompts but these poets rose to the occasion with depth and panache. Lovely! 

Thank you Gary W. Bowers, Paul Brookes, Sonja Benskin Mesher, Bozhidar Pangelov and Anjum Wasim Dar. Bravo!

A warm welcome to poet, writer and educator, Michele Stepto, new to The Poet by Day, Wednesday Writing Prompt. I included a link below to her book, which looks fascinating.  It’s on my reading list.

Enjoy this fine collection with its profound delights and do join us tomorrow for the next Wednesday Writing Prompt. Links to each poet’s site are included below so that you can visit, read more of their work, and get to know them.


Fog

She received as a gift a carpet
with fog in it and moved
the furniture and rolled
the carpet out in the middle
of the room and found
that fog was rising out of it
in little wisps
and that when she stood
at the edge of it it
was just like standing at the edge of a cliff
high up over the ocean in the evening
when the fog is coming in

She moved the furniture back
and it did not
fall through the carpet
it did not disappear
she sat down in her old
armchair next to the lamp
and thought
she was floating in mid-air
on a foggy day
or flying a plane in the fog
everything feeling pleasantly
cold and damp as she closed her eyes

She sat there for a long while
dreaming about trees seen in fog
and things coming toward you
out of the fog small birds
who stayed put and didn’t fly in the fog
as she was staying put
now in her chair
their heads tucked
under their wings and dreaming
as she was of paradise
of their own Shambhala
high in the mountains
girdled in fog
or clouds
it hardly
mattered

© 2018, Michele Stepto 

Michele Stepto

MICHELE STEPTO: I have taught literature and writing at Yale University for many years, and recently at the Bread Loaf School of English in Vermont. My work has appeared online at Verse-Virtual, What Rough Beast (at Indolentbooks.com), Ekphrastic Review, NatureWriting, Mirror Dance, Lacuna Journal, and One Sentence Poems, which nominated “The Unfinished Poem” for a Pushcart Prize this year. Along with my son Gabriel, I translated from the original Spanish Lieutenant Nun: Memoir of a Basque Transvestite in the New World.


445px-charlotte_corday

„Убийството на Марат“, Бодри, (1868)

“Miss Corde was reading Plutarch by night the books then used to be taken seriously” Zbigniew Herbert

(Adam Lux – Meditations)

Miss (or already, why not, Missis)
is reading.
So did she before getting married. The revolution of 1960s All is Love is over.
She used to sleep in tents. Why not?
The freedom has to be defended.
Drums, fires, the screams:
“Down with! Who doesn’t jump is.”
Rumble behind the walls. Marat is. Alive? Death? Used to live?
The time is traveling. The crown’s refined hat.
The hair short. With all the colors.
“In a dress like a blue rock.”
Obelisk? Yes! of passing from
necessity to
necessity (for survival).
Mrs. Corde, is reading. The Game of …
She’s dreaming. “All is love”.
The day is the most usual.

Charlotte?
She administrated justice.
The falling stars are glowing.

Democratic changes in Bulgaria started after the Berlin Wall in 1989 Jean Paul Marat, a prominent French Revolution. Charlotte Conde is his murderer. https://shortprose.blog

© 2018, bogpan [Bozhidar Pangelov] (bogpan – блог за авторска поезия блог за авторска поезия)


REALM

Sleep deprivation
May lead to conversation
That you wake up inthemiddleof
Even though it is you who is talking.

The Goddess of Sleeplessness
In that other underworld
Has made you an emissary of her
Realm,
And conferred on you
The demigod’s trick
Of creating monsters.
Taillights
Become eyes…

© 2018, Gary W. Bowers (One With Clay, Image and Text)


A Smooth Skin

is ugly. Trace beauty
in bloody edges of scars.
Tattoo your face and hands
with raw wounds. Glow.
Bruises brighten your looks.
Pimples and spots mark sexiness.
Wrinkles entice awe.
The look is all in scabs.

Containers

do not contain. Vacuum
is packed with it all.

I wish you were more obtuse.
I can’t understand this clarity.

All is tightly enclosed in open space.
All is nebulous.

Please talk in riddles. Plain
Sentences confuse my head.

Exactitude is imprecise.
Clarity is obscurity.

Distance is not a measure.
I need you to be woolly with words.

Only The

incompetent do their jobs properly.
Ensure you are only partly trained.

Half skilled emergency services save lives.
It’s what you don’t know that counts.

Amateurs are the only professionals.
Fully trained and experienced cause accidents.

Complete competency leads to lack of trust.
Once experienced you are useless to society.

Successful people are always trainees.
They are oil in the cogs, ensure smooth running.

Mistakes ensure a job is done thoroughly.
They ensure society is rectified.

Be Promising

There are no promises.
Money does not exist.
Nothing to breach.
No agreements or vows.

One can never be broken.
You can never be on one.
No laws, no lines can’t be crossed.
You promise not to promise.

© 2018, Paul Brookes (Wombwell Rainbow, Inspiration, History, Imagination)

This Poem Must Be Taken Literally

My body is a rainbow
My blood is an explosion
My heart is a rusty cage
These are not metaphors

Please take this literally
That cloud is my opinion
That road is an orange
That wish is my house
That burnt toast is my belonging

These are not metaphors
This hand is a metal spade
This foot is a knife edge
This mouth is a dark valley
These words are made of light

This is not a poem
This is the ultimate answer.
This tells you how to live
This tells you the only truth

This Mop And Bucket

are poetry to me.
My pen is a mop

I stick in a bucket
of disinfectant floor cleaner

pull out mop sodden
with words and splash

them backwards and forwards
slop lines one after the other

Until the floor fair shines,
My mop is dry, needs another dip.

I squeeze out the gunk
back into the bucket.

More the floor shines,
dirtier the bucketful gets.

A good poem is a clean floor.

© 2018, Paul Brookes  (Wombwell Rainbow, Inspiration, History, Imagination)


. reading for anna .

 

carrying the book, gently,
i find that jesus
is off the wall again.

breeze from the doors
blows him and cobwebbed minds
away,
as i write the small book,
on black keys of words.

gentle here this morning,
sun dreams in,
quiet in all the rooms,
and arms held high,
i come into the morning,
with string and sealing wax.
sbm.

© 2018, Sonja Benskin Mesher

.valley of the widow.

grey day, rain.
squeaky bath taps.
this is the valley
of the widow.

this is the day.
writing the wall,
trees stand tall.

yellow flags, the route,
to another place

© 2018, Sonja Benskin Mesher


There Is Someone

There is someone who talks to me
And keeps me waiting-
If only I could see The Spirit
Which I feel close by, yet so far

A bar on thoughts and actions,
I cannot think because my mind is quiet
And not moving or stirring
Lest the sweet words of The Spirit
May not find their way in-
And I may crush the tender layer thin

In between which keeps us bound,

I cannot let go the joy
I have found in my heart
at hearing the mellifluous melody
of the affectionate aura around,

which seeps into my soul to make peace
and washes smoothly away the tears
and the fears so deep,
I can now sleep with ease

For I cannot speak of the
Good Night Prayer
That descends in time so rare
my soul, to repair

And I cannot say that if I wake
Life may be like a snow flake
White and pure and sure, as
The Angels will come to Heaven, take.

© 2018, Anjum Wasim Dar (Poetic Oceans)


ABOUT THE POET BY DAY

 

“Identical with a Twig” … and other responses to the last Wednesday Writing Prompt



I shed more than one tear when reading these responses to Our Small Beginnings, the last Wednesday Writing Prompt, April 11. May you be touched and inspired.

Thank you to bogpan (Bozhidar Pangelov), Paul Brookes, Frank McMahan, and Sonja Benskin Mesher for coming out to play. Of special note, Sonja has once again shared her art along with her poetry. Paul has created an ekphrastic poetry challenge for himself in honor of  National Poetry Month. Visit his blog to see what he’s been up to.  Worth your time.

Do join us tomorrow for the next Wednesday Writing Prompt.


New Soft

nervous she does
what she knows
pushes a pram
cuddles a baby

moves others’
toys that get
in her way

chews her toast,
sups her juice
asks where mummy is.
where her sisters are.

sobs at a boy
in a Spiderman mask,
rough and tumble
older boys.
wants her comfort cloth

climbs, head over heels
explores a soft world

© 2018, Paul Brookes (The Wombwell Rainbow)

Cuddled Sobs Cradled

hawk back shudder
at vacuum absence
of hugwarm.

Gutempty, boneneed
heartgripe ache
for those once close
now ashed in earth.

in my arms she sobs
for her mam’s voice,
and my heartsob
for my late mam’s voice.

Rhythm of her grief
as she nods on my chest
almost lulls me to sleep.

She shudders awake
heaves herself to the floor
as her mam, only on an errand
walks a smile through the door.

© 2018, Paul Brookes (The Wombwell Rainbow)

Fixes It

As a parent you believe
you can fix everything.

when they’re in pain,
regrow bones, restore lost

blood, a pillow for their head,
neck hugged in bright,

playcentre foam
while enquiries are made,

you cry hugfulls,
then, you drive

as fast as you can,
imagine their absence as the worst

now, you make them laugh
warm their cold hands

push their hair away from their eyes
hold it, together

hold it …..together
hold it together

I can’t have

dogshit on surfaces,

settee and chairs,
kids in mucky diapers.

hold it together

but I have.

hold it together

but I have.

© 2018, Paul Brookes (The Wombwell Rainbow)


Identical with a Twig

At some unnamed night,
and it will be bright,
I’ll go away.

The door I will never
close
the flowers will keep
fragrance.
My children will have fallen asleep
the most deeply
covered and caressed
and somebody will cant to them again
a cradle song.
It will be light like in a temple
and clear like a voice
in mountains.
Then I’ll leave
forgotten all the words…

A branch in the white snow.

© 2018, bogpan (bogpan – блог за авторска поезия, блог за авторска поезия)


GROWING PAINS

Silence was your fortress. Sometimes you would

venture  to whisper through its narrow slits,

granting entry to very few across

the drawbridge, nursing your tenderness while

watching for wolves prowling from the forest.

 

Time and the winds brought seeds, sun, soft  rain.

Now kingcups fill the moat, campion the keep.

Briony and rose are capturing the walls;

swallows return  to their niches every year

and  in the valley, blackbirds sing your songs.

© 2018, Frank McMahan

CURIOSITY

You would converse with otters if you could,

count the bubbles as they break the river’s

sheen, your mind a submarine to follow

them wherever they and the waters run;

surface then to roll amongst the meadow

-sweet  and thyme, newest of their brood.

 

You would take a felucca on the Nile,

cresting its yearly flood, turning back time

to  etch hieroglyphs on the temples’ walls, grind

corn in a quern, dine at the High Priest’s

table, look up as the Pharoah passes.

© 2018, Frank McMahan

THE ETERNAL CHILD.

We were all ready, our homes and our

imagined worlds, waiting to give you,

day by day and year on year, the best

of our  imperfect selves, to watch you

climb the branches of our love

and catch the world’s excitement.

But you were overwhelmed.

Our earth-bound pathways have diverged.

Yet you will voyage with us, there

in every season,in the dappled sunlight

of our days, learning all the steps

of your childhood’s dance.

© 2018, Frank McMahan


.. boy ..

 

some shops

sell fairy dust in                 small bottles,

various shades of pastel.                 cork

stoppers, a wee note inside at just £1.99.

 

i bought you      one,

to treasure. to place

on your bedroom shelf,

in case.

of emergencies.

© 2018, poem and illustration, Sonja Benskin Mesher  (sonja-benskin-mesher.net; Sonja Benskin Mesher, RCA paintings; sonja-benskin-mesher.co.uk)

.. driving past woods..

oh you are a beauty, showing your legs,                dress swinging.

 

in rhythm. in photos , little gifs,                                      to share.

 

how can we  look the same?                   i think i look different

 

now. now that i have grown,                          watched you grow.

 

now. now.

 

now that i helped  when you were sick.                   now.now.

 

now i am older and watched you die.                          all of you.

 

i say goodnight to some and remember                       all of you.

 

how can i look the same.                                                  now. now.

 

remember all that has been done.                                           how

can i look the same?

 

you are still a beauty.

 

dress swinging.

© 2018, poem and illustration, Sonja Benskin Mesher  (sonja-benskin-mesher.net; Sonja Benskin Mesher, RCA paintings; sonja-benskin-mesher.co.uk)


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